By: Pastor Janice Busboom
Originally published: December 23, 2022
Begin with 2 minutes of silence
Luke 2:1-7 (ESV)
1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
There is nothing more miraculous in my eyes than newborn birth! There is so much anticipation, patiently waiting for the day to arrive, planning, expecting, preparing, hoping! It is a truly consuming task for young parents getting ready to receive their firstborn. Mary and Joseph must have had those same thoughts and emotions, the same anticipation and then in the midst of all that wonder comes a complication. The complication was to figure out how to travel about 94 miles, on foot or beast, at the worst possible time to travel! Not to mention the costs, the logistics and details, etc. Oh, the things that can steal our joy!
During Advent, it is easy to allow complications to interrupt the joy of anticipating the celebration of our Savior’s birth. We so easily get wrapped up in the costs, the logistics, the plans, etc. that we forget where our joy lies. This is the season to be joyful because we know that our hope for eternal life begins with this celebration of a newborn birth. I can imagine that at the moment following Jesus’ birth, Mary forgot her exhaustion, her pain, even her location, to behold the joy she held in her arms. It’s a good reminder to me that the joy I have this season is the hope I have in a little baby miraculously born in the middle of a complicated journey!
Questions for Reflection
Ponder on the logistics, plans and details you have entering into the holiday season. Which of those things tend to steal your joy by making you anxious, exhausted or stressed? How can you instill moments in your life that remind you of the joy of Christ’s birth during this Christmas season?
Lord God, as I enter into this season of your Son’s birth, I pray for daily reminders that will cause me to pause and be thankful, with joy in my heart, for all You have given and provided for me. I pray that I will know what is important and needed, and that the important and needed things will take place without the stress or exhaustion often associated with them. May this season be full of joy in my relationship with You and in my relationships with friends and family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
End with 2 minutes of silence